We are in the dark and we need your help!

As the nights are drawing in, now is the perfect time to put on your woollies and help us in our mission to achieve Dark Skies Reserve status.

We have some really dark skies here in the Dales, some of the darkest in the country, but we want to know just how dark. With your help and a bit of citizen science we think we can prove it.

 

Looking up through Gordale Scar at the stars
Looking up through Gordale Scar at the stars

How can you get involved?

There are two ways in which you can get involved…

If you have an iPhone you can download the Dark Skies Meter app. It costs 99p and is available from the app store (disclaimer – we are in no way affiliated with the developers of this app). You must hurry as this app is only going to be available until 1 October 2017!

OR

If you don’t have access to an iPhone then you can borrow one of our light meters.

As part of our submission we need to take light meter readings from all over the National Park. If you follow our top tips it should be an easy task and will ensure our readings are accurate!

  1. It needs to be a moonless night – avoid taking readings on nights when the moon is out.
  2. The sky needs to be clear – never take measurements directly underneath a light source or anything that might block the clear sky.
  3. It needs to be dark – wait until the sky is properly dark, ideally a couple of hours after sunset or before sunrise.

The skies are only truly dark between the end of July and the end of April so now is the best time to get started. To find out when is best to go out and take your readings please take a look at our Hours of Darkness Timetable 2017.

Whichever way you take your readings we need them recording on our handy form so we get the right info. When you’re done you can send your results via email to our tourism team – tourism@yorkshiredales.org.uk.

For details on how to borrow one of our light meters, to get one of our forms, or for more key information about this project please also contact our team on the above address.

The more of you that join in, and the more dark sky meter readings that are taken, the better our evidence will be! So, grab a friend, take some meter readings, watch out for the nocturnal wildlife and enjoy the lovely night sky!

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